The Route 903 bridge project may not take as long as expected, a Carbon official reported.

During the county commissioners' meeting last week, Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said that he and fellow Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, met with officials working on the bridge project in Jim Thorpe recently.

They learned that the project is expected to begin in January 2014.

He added that through the conversation, it was learned that the completion of the new bridge, as well as the demolition of the old bridge should take only two years instead of three years.

The first part of the project will be an 1,100-foot retaining wall.

A total of 12,000-cubic yards of material will be excavated for that part of the project.

Gerhard said the material would be utilized to extend the county parking lot.

There will also be a 20-foot easement to allow the county to continue to utilize the majority of the overflow lot during big events, such as the St. Patrick's Day parade and Fall Foliage weekends.

"I'm excited about the project," Gerhard said. "I think it's long overdue."

The project will cost $37 million, 80 percent of which is being paid by federal funds, and 20 percent being paid by state funds.